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Articles Tagged with injury-lawyer

An expert witness in a wrongful death lawsuit was not properly vetted by the trial court before making key assertions about decedent’s cause of death, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit recently ruled. That means the plaintiff, who alleged her teen daughter died due to medical malpractice, will get another chance to make her case at trial.doctor

In Florida, there is no licensing or professional training one has to obtain in order to qualify as an expert witness. However, just having general knowledge isn’t enough either. Courts have established that individuals may be competent to provide expert witness testimony in a subject if they are qualified by knowledge, skill, experience, training or education. Other considerations could include continuing education, fellowships and professional affiliations. The competency and qualifications of an expert witness are to be determined by the trial judge, and unless one can show there was a clear error in the judge’s discretion, that determination won’t be reversed.

The case of Hall v. Flannery involves the tragic death of a 17-year-old girl. When she was just 5-months-old, she was dropped and suffered a skull fracture. That fracture expanded over time and a cyst later formed. The fracture and cyst weren’t problematic for her until she turned 17. She suffered a blow to the head and, as a result, lost consciousness and later reported blurred vision and dizziness. CT and MRI scans revealed the full extent of the fracture and cyst. Continue reading

Whether an injury lawsuit sounds in medical malpractice as opposed to general negligence – or visa versa – is a critical consideration.medicaldoctor

Medical malpractice lawsuits must satisfy certain special requirements that include:

  • Shortened statutes of limitations;
  • Statutes of repose;
  • Expert witness affidavits;
  • Merit certificates.

Meanwhile, a lawsuit for general negligence doesn’t need to meet these kinds of requirements, which means filing and pursuing claims of general negligence isn’t nearly as expensive and onerous as pursuing a claim of medical malpractice.

In the recent case of Pitt-Hart v. Sanford USD Med. Ctr., the South Dakota Supreme Court was asked to determine whether a claim stemming from a fall-related injury of a patient recovering from surgery was one of general negligence or medical malpractice.  Continue reading

Robotic surgery has become increasingly commonplace in recent years, with robotic surgery centers in Miami, Coconut Creek, Fort Lauderdale, Tampa and more. robot

Robotically-assisted surgery has been around since the 1980s, with manufacturers insisting such procedures can be carried out with greater precision and control. The surgeon is relieved of stress, tension and fatigue, particularly during longer operations. In addition to stamina, robots can be incredibly steady and precise.

But, they are not without flaws. Take for example the da Vinci surgical system, manufactured by Intuitive Surgical. It’s been used in nearly 2 million surgeries across the globe and in more than 1,400 hospitals in the U.S. Most often, it’s used for cancer procedures, removal of gallbladders and hysterectomies. However, there have been a number of cases in which the systems reportedly fail or don’t work exactly as intended. There are some reports of the machines not properly releasing human tissue. In other cases, faulty surgical tips caused injuries.  Continue reading

Investigators say a medical emergency suffered by the driver of a Toyota Sienna minivan caused the vehicle to propel forward into a restaurant on University Drive in Plantation, where several diners were seated for lunch. highway0

The crash was described as “low speed,” but the impact caused five people to suffer injuries. At least one of those was listed in serious condition at Broward Health Medical Center in Fort Lauderdale. Reporters detailed the skid marks still on the floor and blood still on the wall in the hours after the crash. The driver, who was downgraded from serious to stable condition, was treated by paramedics at the scene before being transported to a local hospital. One witness reported the minivan came “zooming” past his table, and he rushed to aid his fellow patrons. He described one man as “badly hurt.”

Because authorities are indicating the cause of this crash may have been a medical emergency, it may be difficult for injury lawyers to prove negligence, which is critical to securing compensation from the driver of that van. It falls under the “sudden emergency doctrine” exception of liability.

Whenever there has been a serious injury or death caused by a roadway accident, it’s imperative that inspection of that road be undertaken right away by knowledgeable highway design experts. highway

In some situations, dangerous roads and unsafe conditions on public property can contribute to the cause of a crash or the severity of it. The reason personal injury lawyers must get involved right away is that law enforcement officers almost never cite “poor design of road” or “improper road maintenance” as a cause of a crash. That has to be independently proven by a victim’s legal team.

What we would be looking to determine is whether there is government liability for lack of maintenance, failure to correct a dangerous condition or bad road design. And anytime government entities are involved as defendants in a case, the legal issues can quickly get thorny. Expert consultants and witnesses are critical in these matters.

When it comes to litigation involving foreign drug companies in product liability claims, there are many complex matters to consider. Such claims on their own typically require an extensive amount of investigation of patient’s medical records and company procedures, and expert witness testimony is usually necessary just to establish there are sufficient issues of fact to get through the courthouse doors. IV

But another hurdle that can be substantial is that of jurisdiction. That is, which court is the appropriate place to bring such a claim. The U.S. Supreme Court recently added two major protections to foreign manufacturers with the recent decisions of J. McIntyre Machinery Ltd. v. Nicastro and Goodyear v. Dunlop Tires Operations. In the first case, the court held 6-3 that simply putting a product in the stream of commerce doesn’t necessarily subject a company to the specific jurisdiction of a court in the state where an accident occurred. In the second case, the court held 9-0 there is no general jurisdiction over a foreign company that doesn’t have continuous, systematic contacts in the state that is attempting to assert jurisdiction.

The issue of jurisdiction was recently raised in a pharmaceutical product litigation case in Florida, before the 2nd DCA, in the case of Teva Pharmaceutical Industries v. Ruiz. It’s become a complex back-and-forth that precludes the case even being decided on its merits. The question is whether a plaintiff, who suffered permanent injury after being given an allegedly contaminated dose of a drug manufactured by the Israeli-based defendant, has grounds to pursue the case in Florida, where the incident occurred. The answer is not a straightforward matter.

A new study by a panel of independent medical experts offers troubling news about missed, delayed and wrong diagnoses in this country: Most Americans will get one at least one time in their lives. Sometimes, the outcome is devastating, resulting in the loss of precious time necessary to treat aggressive conditions. microbiologist

Further, it turns this type of health care mistake is much more common than other types of medical errors, such as medication slip-ups or surgical blunders. Even so, this is an area of study that, until the Institute of Medicine’s most recent report, has been given far less attention than other issues of patient safety.

That’s largely because most research has focused on issues pertaining to health care that happens in hospitals. So things like hospital-acquired infections, mistakes during surgery or errors doling out medication have been high on the priority list of researchers. Diagnosis problems, meanwhile, often happen at outpatient centers, doctors’ offices and surgical centers. There are of course issues in hospital emergency rooms and in other hospital settings, but the new research indicates this is system-wide problem that is going to require a multi-pronged approach to address.